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Tech FAQ
keywords: FAQ, support, problems, troubleshooting, chessbase
Updated on
Saturday, March 26, 2005

This page should help you solve 95% of the commonly occurring problems that are experienced with Chess Assistant or the Convekta tutorials.

I'm getting a 501 error when I attempt to start a Convekta program...

This is a copy protection failure. Usually (but not always), this is caused by a change in hardware or operating system. Many times it is fixed by reinstalling the program in question. If this does not work, then e-mail ChessOK technical support and they should be able to send you a serialized version that will work specifically on your machine. If they can isolate the error, they will issue a patch to fix it.

This error can also come about if a patch or upgrade fails. If you experience this problem, you will want to reinstall the upgrade in question. . Make sure also, that you follow the installation instructions carefully. If you are a Chess Assistant 7 user, then make sure you look at the instructions here.

I'm getting an error 506 when attempting to open a database...

This can be caused by missing database files. A CA database is composed of a number of files, besides the one with a .cdp extension. You can try the database recovery tool within CA, but if too many files are missing, you won't be able to recover your data.

The Chess Assistant 7 patch did not work

This a very common error. It comes about because most people download a patch, execute it, and then expect that the patch will be installed. However, there are some extra steps you need to take before the patch will work. Failure to follow these steps will result in either the patch not being installed at all (in which case, the "About" dialog box does not show CA 7.1), or you will get the error 501 dialog box when you attempt to start CA.

The bottom line is that you need to follow these instructions.

DGT board doesn't work

The unfortunate reality of the DGT board is that there are a number of different versions of it. While the command set for talking to the board is about the same, there are some subtle incompatibilities with some boards and CA. My advice to those having trouble with the board is to first install the latest patch (see instructions here). Then reboot your machine, and see if the DGT board works then (make sure you've got it hooked to the proper COM port, and have it configured in CA). If it does not work, then contact ChessOK technical support.

Troubleshooting your version of the board may require a process of interactive e-mail dialog with the CA support team. Be prepared for the process to take a little while, since they have to figure out what is going on with your board, without having access to your hardware.

I running Win9X or WinMe, and all my icons are turning black...

This is a problem with GUI resources that occurs only with Win9X/Me, and is a limitation of the operating system. Using any program with a lot of graphical elements (like CA, for instance) can lead to this problem. The first thing to do is save your work, then try closing other applications that you may have running. Alternatively, you can also close some of the open dataset or game windows that you are not using in CA. Essentially, any element that you can see in the browser pane will use resources (which are fixed under win9X and ME). Windows 2000, NT, and XP do not have resource problems.

CA is behaving strangely. I am getting access violations, or program crashes, in functions that should work, or have worked properly before...

Assuming you're not overclocking your computer, and your hardware checks out ok, then you can try the following troubleshooting procedure:

  1. Disable Antivirus: On my computer (Windows XP Pro), I have noticed that MkAfee antivirus can cause lockups in Chess Assistant and the Shredder engine. So the very first thing you should try is turning off, or disabling, your antivirus software. Some antivirus programs (Mkafee is one of them) have the ability to exclude directories from their real-time scans. Shut off the scan for the Chess Assistant directory (and Shredder, if you have it), and see if the problem occurs again.
  2. Remove corrupt initialization files: If shutting off your antivirus software doesn't work, then the next most likely cause is a corrupt CA initialization file. You can try eliminating a few initialization files in the CA directory. These are named ca?.xxx, where ? corresponds to the version of CA that you are using, and xxx is one of the following: prm, frm, dsk, dbs, ini. Deleting these files will also erase your program preferences, so be warned!
  3. Reinstall CA: While it is "normal" for the occasional crash to occur, it is not normal for the program to behave strangely all the time. If you tried deleting your settings file, and that had no effect, then you might also want to reinstall the program.
  4. Inspect BIOS settings: Also make sure that you've not recently changed some settings in the BIOS of your computer. I was having some really odd things happening in the beta phase of CA 7 testing. It turned out that I had my BIOS set to "Turbo" mode, which used very aggressive memory timings. This was causing random lockups in CA.

I'm getting the error message "Project not found" in CA 7.X when I attempt to run background analysis

Unfortunately, some patched versions of CA do not have a default project defined for background analysis. I would suggest that you go to the background analysis properties dialog for the analysis mode that you are trying to run (hit ctrl-alt-space, then click the edit button for the background analysis mode you are trying to run), and select the "default" project from the drop down project list.

I've got a new computer, and none of my Convekta programs work anymore...

Believe it or not, I've had experience with this one too. It turned out to be a BIOS problem (it was an ASUS A7V133). If something like this is occurring, then make sure you have an up to date BIOS (consult the tech support for the manufacturer of your motherboard). Then make sure that you are running an up to date service pack (at least SP2 for win2000) on your computer. If you don't know how to upgrade your BIOS or operating system, then I would suggest you consult someone that is knowledgeable on the topic.

I've heard that CA6/7 doesn't run under windows XP, is that true?

This rumor got started because some XP users had trouble with CA 7's copy protection when it was first released. These problems have since been corrected. In fact, all of Convekta's software is compatible with Windows XP. I've recently upgraded to XP, and CA installed fine on my machine.

Can CA read Chessbase format files?

Versions 6 and 7 of Chess Assistant can read Chessbase format file, even the newer CBH format (it is the only third-party commercial program to do so). However, it will not read compressed Chessbase format (CBV files). All annotations, including graphical board annotations will transfer properly. Training questions will not.

Can CA use Chessbase engines?

The short answer here is "no". There is one exception - Shredder contains a so-called "classic" version on the program CD. It can be run under ChessAssistant 6&7. The reason is that this version of Shredder uses the UCI interface, and so CA can talk to it. Note that this version of Shredder is not normally installed by default.

I'm using a Convekta product, and there appears to be gibberish on the display. This happened after installing a tutorial or CA. Now all my Convekta programs have the same problem...

I think there is probably a bug somewhere in some of Convekta's install programs. What needs to be done is a fresh install of the CA Chess font. But first, you need to delete the old font files. In windows 2000, go to your WINNT/Fonts subdirectory. Delete the CA Chess font (filename prog55ch?.ttf, ?=0 or e). Then restart windows. Then, locate one of your old Convekta CDROMs with a fonts folder on it. Manually install the prg55che.ttf font (use the install menu on internet explorer for this).from the CD. Now you should be good to go. The procedure for Win9x and WinMe is similar.

The tree for my database doesn't show any move statistics

You've probably added or copied games to the database since it was originally created. Right-click over the database icon in the browser pane, and select "Operations", and then "Build tree".

Position search is returning strange results

You could have a problem with the database you are trying to search. I would suggest copying all the games in the database to a new one, and then trying the same search on the new database.

CA will not analyze multiple games at once

Versions 6.X and 7.X of CA support multiple game analysis, however, some builds of CA will not do this properly. Usually what happens is that the analysis completes, but the results are never inserted back into the games. You can remedy this by trying a different build of the program. See the downloads page for more information.

CA hangs when converting a database

This can happen when the old database you are converting shares the same name as the new database, and both databases are stored in the same folder on your hard drive. The solution is to select another name for the new database.

I'm getting a 'Project not found' message when attempting to perform background analysis

Most likely you have not defined a default analysis project in CA. Go to Tools->Background Analysis Manager. Click on the tab named 'Projects'. Right click in the white space underneath the tab. Select 'New Project'. Fill in the dialog box for the engine and analysis parameters you want to use.

My problem isn't listed here...

I would suggest you either contact ChessOK technical support, or check out the Chessreviews yahoo group (there are many CA users, and lots of Q&A).

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